By Daniel Beaulé, Service 2000 Électroménager
Are you fed up being unable to find proper staff? To see them leaving you right after you invested time and effort training them? Feeling like you always repeat yourself, or dealing with pay raise requests from dissatisfied staff?
And what if it were all your fault?
Great leaders take for granted that what happens in their business is ultimately their fault. Then, they identify the source causes of dissatisfaction and act upon them. Your staff can’t be totally wrong. Instead, start by setting up an inspiring work environment and to hire and promote the right people. Then, put in place structures in which biases are removed and where there is accountability. These two changes will not only stabilize your business, but will be the founding stone to accelerate growth.
Three indicators (there are many more) showing that you need to improve the way you run your business:
- Your staff is always asking for raises: That’s the sign that they view their position as a job, and not as a place to make a difference.
- You take all the decisions as you do not deem your staff as trustworthy: “Why does it seem like nobody is able to make a decision in this business?”
- Failure is always someone else’s fault, and finger pointing is becoming the number one safeguard.
Whether you are in this situation or want to improve your leadership, you must remember that all humans crave three things: security, belonging, and mattering. Learn to feed these to your employees. If you’re depriving these rewards, they all go for money or leave the business: “if I’m going to continue to work in this hole [that does not make me happy], at least I better make more money to endure the pain”. What are these three triggers and how to act on them:
- Security: Explain where the company is and will be in the future, show their career path in your business if they fulfill their duties and clarify processes and procedures. Say what you do and do what you say so to further develop trust relationship with them. They’ll envision a bright future where there is room to grow.
- Belonging: Value teamwork and build your compensation plan based on team results. Learn to use the word “together” as in we’ll find a solution to this issue together. Care about your people and have regular conversation about how are things with them. Explain your growth plan and how their role is important to achieve it.
- Mattering: Have your staff asking customers for testimonials. Then, read them aloud during team meetings (you hold this kind of meetings, right?). Cite names while doing so. Become “King Compliment”. Have a weekly Start | Stop | Keep conversation with at least one of your staff so they can tell you what they think could help improve the overall performance of the business. Transfer them responsibilities and let them fail sometimes while encouraging them to get better next time. If they are the right people, they will step up and make magic in the future!
Aubrey Daniel, in his book Bringing Out The Best In People, mentions that employees that are motivated can unlock up to an extra 40% discretionary efforts because they are empowered. Do the maths, list your employees and figure out what the impact would be in your business if everyone was 40% more productive. Of course, it won’t happen overnight, and as a leader, you need to set the groundwork for these changes to happen.
We are in a talent acquisition war. Everybody wants to hire the best employees but few offer them the best work environment ever. Change your mindset and start asking yourself: would I like working in my business as an employee? Your job as leader is to be at the service of your employees. Your key duties are to find the best employees, provide them with an astounding career opportunity, remove barriers that prevent them from excelling, and build them to be the best they can.
Daniel is a Gazelles International Certified Business Coach who teaches business owners and teams of executives how to accelerate their business without damaging their people, cash and culture. He is also president of Service 2000 Appliance located in the Montreal area, Canada.
 Christine Comaford: Smart Tribe : How Teams Become Brilliant Together